In case our readings for this morning didn’t already give it away, today is the Sunday in the church calendar when we celebrate “Good Shepherd” Sunday. We celebrate that God in Christ is our good shepherd.
And even though most of us have little or no experience with actual, real-life sheep or sheep-herding, we have at least some idea of what a shepherd does. We know that shepherds are responsible for the wellbeing of their sheep, which is a 24/7 job. Shepherds guide their sheep to food and water, they protect them from predators, and they find shelter for them when things start to get stormy. They help the sheep to survive and flourish. It’s a position of trust; like Jesus says in our gospel reading, the sheep learn to recognize the voice of their shepherd and they follow it.